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Early-stage SaaS startups grow the same with or without VC dollars


The role of venture capital is to help startups achieve growth and scale beyond what they could on their own. But does that always pan out? New research shows that for some early-stage companies, it doesn’t really make a difference.

A new report from startup lender Capchase found that SaaS startups with between $1 million and $15 million of ARR saw nearly identical levels of growth, on average, over the last year regardless of whether they raised venture capital. The report looks at financials from 900 of Capchase’s early-stage startup customers located in the U.S. and Europe and split 49% bootstrapped, 51% VC-backed.

The report found that venture-backed SaaS startups showed a 42.8% year-over-year growth from June 2022 through the end of May 2023, compared to bootstrapped companies, which saw 44% growth over the same time. The numbers are close, sure, but given that the venture-backed startups raised external capital, we can safely assume that they spent more to achieve what is effectively the same growth rate as their bootstrapped peers.

Capchase co-founder and CEO Miguel Fernandez said he initially was surprised to see how similar the numbers were for both venture-backed startups and bootstrapped companies, but once he talked to some bootstrapped founders, it began to make more sense.



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